Since I have a few goals for this lunar cycle, which are small and particular, I decided I would get cracking on a few tasks which would lead to the realisation of these goals…
I am finally reading the book Magical Gardens: Cultivating Soil and Spirit by the late Patricia Monaghan which I got ages ago but never got around to reading. There are a million gazillion more books on my list, but it starts with one or two or three. I have this perpetual fear of running out of reading material, and therefore, buy more books than I am able to read. There are many more books on my to-buy list but because of my current situation I have to make do with what I have and I have plenty.
This book is excellent so far, I have completed three chapters and I find Monaghan’s writing to be absolutely enveloping. She writes about the myths surrounding planting and nourishment and includes a number of exercises for the gardener to do in order to become a more soulful gardener.
Soulful living is part of my Root work, and as Gardening puts one in direct contact with the Earth, an element of the Root Chakra, I thought that Gardening would be one of my major projects for this lunar cycle.
I remember days as a child playing in the compost heap on my Ouma’s plot, no care in the world for all the decaying matter and horse manure. I had fun digging in the compost and the other topsoil that was laid in heaps by the big tree – which once had a little green snake in it. As a child I would often dip my fingers in my mothers pot plants and taste the dirt and the soil tasted oh-so-good. I was a child who loved to play in the dirt, I never had a fear of getting dirty. Of course as a little girl I was criticized by various adults for getting myself so dirty, I was criticized by my peers too, I was very un-lady like, I was loud, filthy and very Earthy.
Somewhere along the way I lost my connection to the soil, to my earthiness and it is high time that I get it back. There are a few projects I would like to get going. I would love to start composting, I would love to get back into learning the spiritual and medicinal properties of plants, and I would love to bring the soul back into my gardening.
My first project was to re-pot some of my more needy plants, ones that have not been re-potted in two years, and ones that had outgrown their pots. I also decided to plant some poppy seeds for Anubis.
As I am somewhat of a hermit and wanted to do this during a ritual by my altar, I decided to bring the outside plants that I was re-potting inside. This included my White Agapanthus and a succulent that had tipped over in its original pot. I re-potted two of my indoor plants as well, a Hyacinth and my black grass which stands above my ancestor altar.
I decided to do this all on Noumenia, to welcome in new energies and to rebirth and rekindle some of the magic of the energy that was already present.
One could question the logic of bringing in potting soil and pots full of mud into a home that was cleaned for Deipnon, but then surrounding soil and dirt. In bringing in the soil, in having black dirt falling everywhere on my white tiles (despite having newspaper laid down) I was able to confront some of my own messy emotions. There is nothing vile and nasty about the soil, it is merely an obsession of a culture so disconnected from the land and the earth that makes it seem so nasty and wrong.
As a Pagan, and a Gardening Witch I should not feel so disconnected from my garden, from the soil, from the earth, and this was my first step into that re-connection.
It was a very enjoyable process. At first I felt a bit weird, a bit silly and a bit dirty, but as I rubbed the soil in my hands shoveling it on to the roots of plants in their new homes, I became absorbed in the beauty of what I was doing. I was reconnecting with friends, with plant spirits that I had been a bit neglectful of, and was feeling the joy and pleasure of the physical task.
At one point there was a frightful moment where a spider with a very venomous look was crawling up my arm and got shook off in squeals of “Oh my god, sorry, sorry, sorry!” but as I calmed down I got to the task at hand and spent the rest of the night trying to avoid accidentally squishing any spiders that may have been living in the neglected potting soil bag while talking to the soil and the plants.
Getting myself all dirty and muddy was a wonderful way in which to re-root myself. After all this is where my soul has always been nourished, in the plants, in the garden and in the soil.